Priti Choksi, the wife of fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi, on Friday rubbished claims by a woman widely quoted as her husband's girlfriend during his stay in the Caribbean islands, evading Indian authorities.
Identified as a friend of Mehul Choksi, Barbara Jabarica has made several sensational claims against him, including about a supposed plan to escape to Cuba, in her interviews since his arrest by Dominican authorities last month.
Priti Choksi refuted charges that Ms Jabarica only knew Mehul Choksi as Raj since that was the name he gave her and said that even a child can today look up the identity of their friends on the internet.
The WhatsApp messages that have surfaced can easily be created by changing the content or through image editing software like Photoshop, Priti Choksi said, adding, there is no evidence to support their authenticity.
"How is it possible that despite all the media attention and public furore surrounding this case, that this lady who has an Instagram account with thousands of followers was in the dark about all this, and did not come out to speak in defence of her 'friend'?" she said.
"These bogus claims are only an attempt to present a wrong picture of my husband," said Ms Choksi, adding since Ms Jabarica was yet to reveal her location to anyone, her version was not at all credible.
Earlier, Mehul Choksi too had alleged that Barbara Jabarica did not attempt to help her while he was being beaten up and placed on a small watercraft and taken to Dominica from Antigua and Barbuda.
He stated that the manner in which Barbara Jabarica conducted herself indicated that "she was an integral part of this whole plan to abduct" him.
Barbara Jabarica in interviews with news agency ANI and others said that she had met Mehul Choksi over breakfast on the day he was allegedly kidnapped, but left for the airport and was on the other side of the island that day.
Mehul Choksi went missing from Antigua on May 23 and was caught in Dominica. He was charged with illegal entry by the police in Dominica after he allegedly fled Antigua and Barbuda in a possible attempt to avoid extradition to India.
The 62-year-old fugitive jeweller is wanted in India in connection with the Rs 14,000 crore fraud at the Punjab National Bank or PNB.